Balls with Garlic

Balls with Garlic

There was a feast in our kitchen today. Mom is here! She came from Tarsus/Mersin this morning. And of course I was retired from cooking for this first day. I must admit that most of the things I know about cooking are from mom. She loves cooking and she loves teaching what she knows. Balls with garlic (Sarmsaklı köfte) is another dish from my childhood.  As mom knows how to make me happy, she makes it whenever she visits us.  So today she made it and I took the photos. Here is mom’s recipe and I’d like to thank her again.

Sarmsakli Kofte


For its dough:
•    4 coffee cups pounded wheat (bulgur)
•    4 tbsp semolina
•    4 tbsp flour
•    1 egg
•    1 tbsp pepper paste
•    1 tsp cumin
•    1 tsp red pepper flakes
•    1 tsp salt
•    1 tsp black pepper
•    1 water glass warm water

For its boiling

1 liter water, salt and half lemon.

For its sauce:
•    1 head of garlic, mashed
•    4 tomatoes, grated
•    Half bunch of parsley, minced
•    1 coffee cup olive oil
•    1 tsp cumin
•    1 tsp black pepper
•    1 tsp red pepper flakes
•    1 tbsp pepper (or tomato) paste
•    1 lemon
•    1 tsp salt

Soak pounded wheat and semolina with warm water and wait 10 minutes. They should absorb all the water. Add the spices and the egg into it. Then knead it well. You can sprinkle little water while kneading. Now add flour and continue kneading. When the flour disappears in the dough, it’s finished.


Take a piece from the dough as big as an egg and shape it like a thick stick in your hands. You can see it in the picture.

Then take pieces from this thick stick as big as a hazelnut and roll it in your hands. Then gently press on this small ball with your finger. Wet your hands occasionally, or you can’t shape the dough. Do the same until all the dough finishes.



Put one liter water in a large pot. Add salt and juice of half lemon. When it boils, put the balls into it. Cook them without stirring (maximum 15 minutes). Do not overcook them. When the balls get as soft as pasta, it’s cooked.

Take the pot from fire and drain. Put the balls on a service plate.

To prepare its sauce,  put grated tomatoes in a large skillet. Cook it until it becomes thick enough. Add olive oil, pepper paste, salt and other spices in it. Finally add mashed garlic, stir it a few minutes and take it from fire. Put the minced parsley in this sauce and mix it (if you like, you may not combine the parsley with the sauce but sprinkle on the balls after the sauce).

Now drop some sauce on the balls with a spoon. And serve it with lemon slices, pickles and garden cress.

Balls with Garlic


  1. semra says

    sarımsaklı köfteye bayılırım.iştah açıcı görünüyor,yapım aşamasını görüntülemen güzel olmuş,parmakla bastırma kısmı yapım aşamasının en keyifli yanı.ellerinize sağlık…

  2. says

    Semracım keşke sen de burda olsaydın da yeseydin. Ama kalan bir tabağı kaçırmak istemiyorsan hemen atla gel derim.

  3. says

    Isn’t Mom’s food the best? These look so good, and so teeny, they must take great care in making them. Enjoy your visit with your Mom!

  4. says

    These look lovely! I make regular köfte a lot, and have been looking for a suitable option for my vegetarian friends- it didn’t occur to me to make them with bulgur!

    I suppose you could you use köfte bahar for seasoning?

  5. Bill Walker says

    These remind me of a kofte we use to have in Ankara. Does any one have a recipe, and, more important, a suggested technique for içili kofte?

    Bill from Richmond

  6. yesim says

    It is great recipe so easy to make and tasty ,it s one of my and my family s fav food..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *